Cumberland Times-News


June 16, 2014


They often make it easy for police to catch them

— Do you ever wonder, “What were these people thinking?” We do.

It’s not unusual for our daily Police Log to report on an arrest made by an officer who stopped a car on Interstate 68 or some other highway for going considerably faster than the speed limit, then discovered the car was laden with narcotics.

We recently reported about a man who faces charges because he allegedly stole a lawn tractor from a store, then sold it at a scrap yard to someone who promptly called police.

This sort of thing isn’t new. Some years ago, a man was convicted of stealing a quantity of copper wire from a scrap yard. The next day, he tried to sell it back to the same scrap yard with the scrap yard’s wrapper still around it.

Two other men recently were charged with felony theft and drug offenses for allegedly stealing a car in Harrisburg, Pa., and driving it to Cumberland. Police trailed them here using the car’s OnStar satellite program.

Some years ago, we reported about a man who robbed a store unmasked, with a pistol that was broken. He and the clerk were acquainted, and he asked her not to tell anyone he had been there. It didn’t quite work out that way.

Another man called a pizza shop and ordered a sandwich delivered to what proved to be a vacant address. When the delivery man showed up, he robbed him and was still there, eating the sandwich, when the police arrived.

Stories about dumb crooks abound, like that of a man who tried to rob a gun store in Portland, Ore., while armed only with a baseball bat.

Occasionally, there are reports of people who actually try to burglarize homes by climbing down chimneys; unlike Santa, they get stuck partway down.

Now and then, someone hands a bank clerk a robbery note written on a business card or some other piece of paper that has his name on it.

One of our favorite stories also was a favorite of the late attorney Lee Barnett, who liked to tell about a man who robbed a bank in the pre-mall days on Baltimore Street.

He walked outside, hailed a cab and rode home in it. The driver radioed the dispatcher about his fare, and the police were waiting for them when they got to their destination.

A day or so later, the robber was lying on his bunk in the county jail when a guard reminded him it was chow time and asked him if he was hungry.

“No,” the robber said, “I’m plannin’ my next job.”

Police have a variety of investigative tools, scientific and otherwise, to use in catching crooks. They also get plenty of help from the public and, it often seems, from the crooks themselves.


Text Only
  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Build it now Build it now

    Anticipated savings from demolition work that will provide ground for a new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain may allow the addition of an auditorium at the school.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Get on with it

    Now that Maryland State’s Attorney General Doug Gansler has been asked to help with the investigation of the McCoole Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department it is our hope that the probe regains traction.

    July 12, 2014